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Simple & Easy Kimbap | Recipe

How long has it been since I made a recipe post on the blog? The last recipe I published was my stir fried tofu and broccoli, which was in January of last year!

During my time off social media, I decided to follow a sudden craving, and create my version of kimbap! I'm not claiming this to be traditional or authentic to the Korean staple, but I can vouch that this was absolutely delicious. Using a combination of fresh and cooked veg was a good shout, and it's such a versatile dish to suit to your own needs, which is one of the best things about Asian cooking!

If you like meat, you can add meat. If you're vegan, just take out the eggs, or add your favourite veggies. I loved this recipe because it was so fresh and didn't take up any time at all!

2 1/2 cups rice
4 sheets of seaweed (gim/nori)
2 eggs
1 medium carrot
1/2 cucumber
Optional; sesame seeds and sesame oil

1. So the first thing to do is cook your rice. Please rinse the rice thoroughly about 3 or 4 times to remove the starch and ensure the final product is sticky enough to hold all the ingredients together. This is the first place my kimbap isn't traditional at all; I only had medium grain white rice on hand, and was not feeling the trek across campus to buy short grain, but luckily it turned out just fine! When you rinse the rice thoroughly, add enough water to cover it and cook it until all the water has dried up. When the water has dried up, switch off the heat and leave it to steam in the pot until all the other ingredients are prepped.

2. As the rice is cooking, fry the eggs. Whisk them in a bowl with some salt to taste and fry them in a thin layer a bit at a time. When the bottom is cooked, roll one side to the other using a spatula or chopsticks and add a bit more mixture and cook in the same fashion; rolling the cooked egg from one side to the opposite side and allowing the mixture to flow to the underside so it adheres. Repeat until all the mixture has been used up and the end result is egg. We're going for a tamagoyaki style that we'll cut into strips that are the same length as the nori sheet.

3. For the cucumber, you can either peel it or keep the skin on (I kept mine on!), but just make sure to cut them into thin strips that fit the same length as the nori sheet. Also be sure to scoop out the seeds so the kimbap isn't wet or moist!

4. Prepare the carrot by peeling and slicing into thin matchsticks. When they're cut, fry them in a bit of oil, and add some salt to taste. Don't fry them so they're soft and limp - they should be soft but still have a crunch to them. This should take 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Place the cooked rice into a bowl and season with some salt to taste. This will also help cool it down slightly before we begin rolling. Also optional is adding sesame seeds and sesame oil at this step. When this is done, you're ready to start rolling!

6. If you have a bamboo mat, it can make rolling the kimbap 10x easier, but if you don't have one on hand don't sweat it! Place a sheet of nori (shiny side down) on the bamboo mat and spread some rice in a thin layer on the bottom 2/3 of the sheet.

7. Add your ingredients in an even layer; 2 leaves of lettuce, a strip of egg, some carrot, and a strip of cucumber. Roll the seaweed by using the bamboo mat (if you don't have one, it's fine!), but make sure to roll the seaweed tightly and firmly. Once it has been rolled up, set it aside and repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other ingredients. 

8. Once all the ingredients have been used up, it's time to cut the kimbap. Optionally, you can spread some sesame oil on the kimbap, but I didn't have any on hand so I skipped this step. Wet the sharpest knife you have either in sesame oil or water, and cut the kimbap in even, bitesize pieces, and you're done!

You can serve the kimbap as it is. Traditionally, it is eaten on picnics, but I had mine with some ramen and enjoyed it all the same. Dipping in mayo or soy sauce is another tasty option I'd totally recommend!

Other alternatives I want to try out are: bulgogi kimbap, and tuna kimbap! It's so versatile and you can add any ingredients you have on hand. 

It's best eaten on the day you prepared it, but it can also be stored at room temperature and eaten the next day!

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